In this two-part series, we will take a closer look at the realities of buying an older home versus a new construction home. It’s a good idea to review the advantages and disadvantages of each type, some of which are obvious, some not.
Our hope is that this will be a simple guide to help you make the best decision. This article is not designed to steer you in one direction or the other, but rather to give you some practical examples and useful case studies to make an informed decision on your own.
The first part of this series will be dedicated to reviewing the “pro’s” of buying an older home.
Many homes fifty years old or older were built with hardwood or old growth wood framing. Most new homes are built with hem-fir, a hemlock fir hybrid wood designed to grow fast. Him-fir, however, rots quicker. Homes built before the 1950s also used lathe and plaster, not drywall, to finish interior spaces.
Charm and Craftsmanship
The statement “they don’t build them like they used to” has never been truer than when it comes to old homes. The level of craftsmanship and care that went into the construction of older homes is incredible; beautiful millwork, leaded windows, picture rail, etc… are all stunning features that are unique to older homes.
Every Home Is Unique
Unlike some new subdivisions that are composed of 5 or 10 different floor plans throughout the entire neighborhood, older homes are generally all unique. The building process has become much more model-driven over the past few years.
Older homes are often built on larger lots with mature trees and landscaping. It’s also not uncommon for older neighborhoods to have a much stronger sense of community, with more neighborhood gatherings. There is simply no comparison to the feel of an older neighborhood with mature trees, custom millwork, and charming front porches.
Price and Purchase
As a rule of thumb, a new home from a builder might run you 15 percent to 30 percent more than buying a comparable older home in an existing neighborhood.
Stay tuned for the next segment on the “con’s” list of buying an older home.